The oceans have risen three inches since 1992, according to NASA, and new satellite data shows that rising sea levels won’t be stopping anytime soon. In fact, NASA officials said at a press conference on August 26 that if we continue at this rate “we’re locked into three feet of sea level rise, and probably more.”
The GIF below illustrates how much sea levels have already risen in just the past 23 years.
Reds spots on the globe indicate areas where the seas have risen an average of three inches or more, while blue spots show a decrease in sea level.
Most of the worst increases are seen in the most vulnerable parts of the world. The largest increase in sea level occurred in the Pacific Ocean, targeting small island nations.
And this is just the start. As sea level rise continues to accelerate coastal areas and islands around the world will be underwater.
“It may entirely eliminate some Pacific Island nations, and sea level rise will greatly impact low lying cities like Dhaka, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Tokyo, Japan,” Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, said at a press conference.
Sea level rise is impacting faraway cities and countries, but the United States is also already feeling the effects, including Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands and regularly flooding that has been plaguing Florida.
“Today normal spring high tides cause street flooding in sections of Miami,” Freilich said. “That didn’t happen regularly just a few decades ago.”
According to NASA Sea Level Change Team lead Steve Nerem, the rising sea levels can be attributed to warmer water expanding, from Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melting, and from melting mountain glaciers.
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